It's important to me not to make my background or my gender a thing to sell. It's important to me but I don't want it to be sold. I think if you make those things a selling point, you'll be replaced sooner or later. There is always someone who can be those things.
I was once asked to be on a panel for a particular reason and I said no - and they got another writer to replace me who was more willing to please, to sell those things I refuse. Then I saw that the invitation was not about the quality of the work but about the image they wanted to have. I want to be a writer you can't replace and I don't think I can be those things if you sell me on a point someone else can take. When Small Arguments was first published I was young. I like that [my publisher] Beth [Follett] never made it a selling point. That was important to me because I intended to get old.
- Souvankham Thammavongsa, in interview with Quentin Mills-Fenn in the Summer 2014 issue of CV2.